What is rotating your tires all about?
Rotating the tires on a regular basis will significantly extend their lifespan. The car's four tires wear out differently. If one tire wears out more than the others, the car will start pulling in the direction of the newer tires. For example, if you let go of the steering wheel when driving, (for a moment!), the car should continue to go in a straight line. If the tires have worn out differently, the car will not travel in a straight line. It will drift in the direction of the better tire. This is also the reason why when you buy new tires, it is best to buy them in pairs. Rotating your tires will help even out tire wear by allowing each tire to serve in as many of the vehicle's wheel positions as possible.
During the rotation, the front tires are moved straight back and the rear tires are moved diagonally to the front. This will ensure that every tire will see each corner of the car. Your mechanic should check for abnormal wear, which may be a sign of other problems:
Keep in mind:
- If the tire treading is lower than 1/16th of an inch (or lower than the factory recommendation), the tires are worn out.
- Rotating worn-out tires is of no use since the purpose of tire rotation is to extend the life of tires. If this is the case, the mechanic will not rotate the tires and we will not charge you for the service.
- Tire rotation is not possible on all vehicles.
How it's done:
- Inspect for tire wear and damage
- Check the tread on the tires
- Remove and rotate tires
Follow the manufacturer's maintenance schedule and rotate the tires as advised. Rotating the tire once a year is a good idea. During the tire rotation service, the mechanic should also inspect the entire brake system (pads, rotors, calipers, hoses).
What are the common symptoms indicating you need to rotate your tires?
- Uneven tire wear, car pulling to one side
- Cupping on the tires
- Tire rotation is performed as part of normal maintenance
How important is this service?
As you accumulate miles on your vehicle, each of the four tires will wear at different speeds, and in different places. This is because front tires wear differently than rear tires, and right tires wear differently than left tires. If you allow these tires to stay in one position for too long, the wear will and tear will become so abnormal that the car will begin to drift in one direction or another. By constantly rotating the tires you allow all four tires to be subject to the same wear and tear, which keeps their lifespans relatively equal. A car with tires that are wearing evenly should drive more smoothly and in a straight line.